Dining woes over break

by Cait Conner

As the holidays are nearing, college students can look forward to a home cooked meals; however, students who are required to stay on-campus during breaks because of sports or other reasons may have difficulties using their meal plans.

At the beginning of the year or during breaks, some students are required to be on-campus for practices or games.

Typically funds for food are provided from coaches to purchase food or meals from an outside source, such as: Hy-Vee or Subway, junior Russ Fairfield said.

“Once those funds have been depleted, it is upon the athlete to provide their own meal,” Fairfield said. “As athletes, we continue to represent Simpson College and should have access to all the normal functions, especially if we are not able to make it home for the holidays.”

Jim Thorius, dean of student development and dean of students, explains that the meal plans purchased by the students are for a set number of days, which are based upon an academic calendar.

“We’re trying for all students create the board plans that can provide the best options to the best value, so no one is trying to make prices more expensive than what they need to be,” Thorius said.

Thorius explains that the plans are meant for the days on the academic calendar and not for the break times.

For example: Spring break, generally students are not going to be on campus during that time. If those periods of time were included in the meal plans, the expense would more than what it currently is.

“If we were going to provide more meals during the break period, the board would have to cost more at the front end,” Thorius said.

The college contracts with Chartwells for a set number of days for the year of the board plan, which is when Simpson provides food service. However, for fall break, the college kept a couple of the venues open so that there was at least one food option on-campus, so students could eat on-campus instead of going off.

“The athletic department, just like if the team was traveling to an away game, makes arrangements for the student athletes to be able to eat,” Thorius said.

The football team, for example, during fall break had Chartwells cater meals for the team that was here during fall break. The athletic department budget pays that expense, Thorius said.

Thorius explains that some of the athletic departments have allotted the student athlete an amount they can use to go out and purchase food on their own.

In fall, when student athletes come to campus early for volleyball, football, cross country or soccer for their training or practices, they are fed even though the dining services are not open.

“Different sports have approached this differently”, Thorius said.